Category Archives: Sea and the beach

Printing and painting with pot scourers

Printing and painting with pot scourers with glitter


Themes: My home, the five senses and hands. This would make a lovely background for a sky or water done in blues and whites. This technique can be used to colour a variety of shapes such as autumn colours on autumn leaf shapes, flower shapes, butterflies etc. The prints can be added to tree branches to make the tree top.

You will need: Paper, bright coloured thick ready mixed paint, pot scourers, flat plastic lids, glue and glitter. The scourer can be washed and reused. Dry well so they do not rust.

Age: This activity will work well with all the age ranges but I would recommend plastic scourers for the under two’s as they may put them into their mouths. The children enjoyed the unusual sensory experience and this activity attracted many boys to the activity!

I bought some inexpensive metal pot scourers which came in a set of 6. Plastic ones will be as effective.


I used black paper which contrasted nicely with the bright paint colours I selected.


I placed the paint on plastic ice-cream lids so it was easy to dip them into the paint.


The children printed and ‘painted’ with the pot scourers. I encouraged them to rotate the scourers which created interesting circle patterns of paint. Some children chose to use the scourer to spread the paint creating an interesting paint effect. Others chose to create a border around the edge of the paper.

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Once the paintings had dried, we dipped the scourer into some glue and repeated the printing action to spread some glue onto the painting. The children sprinkled glitter onto the glue.

We ended up with beautiful paintings which were sparkly.
CAPS Outcomes

Subject: Life Skills 
Study area: Creative arts
Create in 2D
• Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of scissors and other tools and equipment.

Create in 2D
• Painting: use pre-mixed tempera paint or coloured inks or dyes in primary and secondary colours to respond to the week’s topic
• Simple printmaking techniques to create informal pattern
• Art elements: informal experience and use of shape in drawing and painting
• Use colour to create pattern

Subject: Languages (Home)
Skill: Handwriting
• Develops small muscles and fine motor control skills
• Develops eye- hand co-ordination through play e.g. drawing and painting






Paper plate boats


This child wanted me in the boat too so I drew a picture of myself

This activity is suitable for a variety of themes: Boats, water transport, things that float, floating and sinking, shapes, fish and the beach and the sea.

Note: Before you present this activity to the children please do a clear demonstration to the children either in mat time or around the art table. Talk about the shapes and where they should be positioned to create a boat using vocabulary such as; next to, on top, underneath and talk about big and small triangles  Then leave the children to create their own boats so you can do assessment. Resist the temptation to intervene and correct the boats.


I set out half a paper plate (small works best) or a half circle of light weight cardboard, a wooden sucker stick or piece of card, some triangle shapes in different sizes and colours either white or coloured, glue and glue brushes and A 3 size paper if possible

At a separate table set out the wax crayons and scissors to draw a picture of themselves, cut it out and attach it to the boat. Encourage the children to draw fish and birds and other sea creatures. Suggest that they draw patterns on the sails of the boat although many children chose to paint theirs.
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In another area either on the floor or on a table set out some paint. Make the blue paint thin so the wax crayon fish will shine through like a colour wash.
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Did the learner follow instructions

  • Is the boat orientated correctly on the page
  • Does the end product resemble a boat
  • Has the learner added details to the collage
  • Has the learner used the materials with restraint
  • Which hand did the learner use while drawing, cutting and painting
  • Could the learner share materials

An interesting orientation


  • Due to the way the art area is set up at the school I work at in New Zealand, the different activities used to create this collage are all on the same table. This results in the children following their own ideas more so than if the different components are separated. We also do not have a specific mat time to discuss the art activity and since I am a reliever I have to work around these limitations. I prefer the way the SA system works and you end up with more learning taking place and a pleasing art outcome
  • Encourage the children to place the glue on the sucker stick and the paper sails and paper plate as opposed to pasting glue to the page in the general area.
  • Set out small pieces of paper to draw themselves otherwise the people come out a bit big
  • Larger paper is easier for the children to plan their picture and fit it all in
  • 3 year olds need a fair amount of help to create a boat. Then allow them to be creative and complete it in their own wayCAPS outcomes

Subject: Life Skills   Study area: Creative arts
Create in 2D
Drawing and painting using the week’s topic • Draw and give own interpretation to drawings using the week’s topic using wax crayon, oil pastels and other drawing media • Painting: use pre-mixed tempera paint or coloured inks or dyes in primary and secondary colours to respond to the week’s topic

Create in 3D (constructing) • Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of scissors and other tools and equipment. • Encourage development of skills through manipulation of the materials
Create freely using a range of materials: small boxes, recyclable materials like buttons, egg boxes, cardboard off-cuts, and other

Craft skills and techniques: cutting, pasting, tearing • Develop craft skills and fine motor control

• Art extra’s • Art elements: informal experience and use of shape in drawing and painting •  Variation of paper size and format: encourage working in different scales • Informal use of art elements shape and colour in drawing and painting in response to week’s topic

Visual Literacy • Naming shape in own work • Looking at and talking about book illustrations: naming shape and colour in book illustrations, • Looking at and talking about colour and shape in pictures and photographs • Responding to questions to show awareness of colour and shape • More specific naming of colour and shape (light and dark colour, simple geometric shapes) through answering questions


Paper plate shark or fish Themes: Fish, under the sea, water animals, sea and the beach In this example we used a circle of paper but a small paper plate is easier. I cut the circles for the younger children … Continue reading

Sea and beach theme/topic ideas

Collage an underwater fish scene with a wave background
Themes: Sea, sea and beach, fish, water, water animals, shapes

Background waves
Create the background first. Cut some wave combs from plastic milk bottles ( cut them open and use the plastic). Using thick blue paint – ready mixed, powder or finger paint are all effective but adding some glue to thicken powder paints and help adhere the fish is necessary. The children spread the paint over a large sheet of paper using a thick brush or their hands. Once the page is covered they use the combs and drag  them through the paint creating wave patterns. The children continue until they are happy with their background.


Then add the fish. NOTE: If you want to draw patterns on the fish it is best done before the fish are pasted to the background.


I cut a variety of oval and triangle shaped pieces of coloured paper or lightweight cardboard. The children create fish from oval and triangle paper shapes which the children select and arrange on the wet wave background. As you can see from the many different end products some children added one fish, while others filled their page with fish. Since this activity was done with a mixed age range of children (31/2 to 5 year old) some of the fish were not as well constructed as they could be, but this shows you how the activity can work with the different age ranges. Note that I have not corrected the fish as this is a valuable assessment tool.


3 1/2 year old. These two pictures have been done by the same child. She was a lot more controlled in her first picture


Some children lack self-control and are excessive


5 year old


4 year old


5 year old


  • When I work solely with the younger children I cut the fish shapes with the tail as one shape. For Grade R children they can be encouraged to cut their own fish shapes and decorate them with writing patterns before they paste them to the wave background.
  • If you are using finger paint have a bucket of water and a towel close by
  • If you are working with a younger age group do not place scissors on the table. All your shapes will be cut into little pieces
  • The activity can be extended for the older learner by adding a sand base and crinkle paper seaweed
  • Dry the art works on a flat surface

Life Skills   Study area: Creative arts
Create in 2D

• Drawing and painting using the week’s topic
• Painting: use pre-mixed tempera paint or coloured inks or dyes in primary and secondary colours to respond to the week’s topic

Create in 3D (constructing)
• Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of scissors and other tools and equipment.

Integration: Subject: Home language Skill: Handwriting
• Uses a range of writing tools e.g. paint brushes, wax crayons etc.
•  Develops eye- hand co-ordination through play e.g. drawing and painting